By Dave Vest | Anthony Perez GLENDALE -- Nashville's J.P. Dumont scored his first hat trick in more than nine years on Tuesday night, and the Predators beat the Coyotes, 5-2, in the finale of Phoenix's four-game homestand.
With the loss, the Coyotes (23-15-9) slipped from fourth place in the Western Conference standings to sixth.
Dumont’s first goal came at the 8:16 mark of the first period when his slap shot beat Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.
Just 12 seconds later, the Predators (25-15-6) extended their lead to 2-0 when Patric Hornqvist notched his 14th goal of the season.
Not liking what he'd just witnessed, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett called a timeout. The tactic worked as the Coyotes tied the score at 2 before the first period ended.
Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata was credited with a power-play goal at 10:31 after Nashville defenseman Shane O'Brien accidentally tucked the puck under Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and into the net.
Coyotes forward Lee Stempniak scored the prettiest goal of the night with 5:59 left when he redirected a pass from Adrian Aucoin past Rinne from the top of the crease.
Photo by Getty Images.
Rinne provided solid goaltending in the final 40 minutes and Dumont provided all the offense Nashville needed to jump ahead of the Coyotes in the standings.
Dumont's second goal came at the 11:25 mark of the second period, and he notched his third at the 17:35 mark (see KEY MOMENT below). Nashville didn't have another shot for the next 16 minutes, until Hornqvist scored his second goal of the game with 5:31 to play in the third period.
“We’re not playing as well as we need to play right now,” Tippett said. “We’re making far too many errors and our whole game is out of sync here in the last two (games). Part of it is our schedule. It has been a hard go for a few weeks so you got to go into games like this and you really got to have a strong mental attitude on how you are going to win the game.”
Rinne picked up his 15th win of the season after surrendering just two goals on 34 shots. Bryzgalov made 16 saves on 21 shots.
Already having scored twice in the game, J.P. Dumont tapped a rebound off the crossbar past Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov at the 17:35 mark of the second period to secure his fourth career hat trick and give Nashville a comfortable 4-2 lead.
• Defenseman Michal Rozsival made his debut with the Coyotes eight days after coming to Phoenix via a trade with the New York Rangers. Rozsival had been nursing an upper-body injury since the trade. In his debut, he played 20:05, took one shot on goal and delivered two hits.
• The Coyotes placed defenseman David Schlemko on the injured reserve list after he absorbed an elbow to the head from San Jose's Scott Nichol in Monday's game. On Tuesday, the NHL suspended Nichol for four games for the hit.
• Defenseman Keith Yandle notched an assist to extend his point streak to five games.
• The Coyotes are 3 for 38 on power plays in the past 11 games.
• U.S. Senator John McCain was among the spectators inside Jobing.com Arena.
• The Coyotes' next game is Thursday vs. Los Angeles at Staples Center. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"I don’t think we skated well enough. We got the puck in and started chasing the puck the whole game. They played a pretty solid defensive game and we weren’t able to get by them and get shots to the net and they outplayed us tonight."
"The debut, I am glad it's over with. I would have liked it to be a victory for us, but obviously that didn't happen. But I'm happy to be back on the ice and playing. I'm feeling better. I'm feeling good as far as the injury and I'm looking forward to being part of the team."
"They came back to make it 2-2 and we kind of got away from our game. Our game is to be hard on the puck, make sure we finish our checks and be strong defensively. We didn’t really do that after the first five minutes of the game so when we came out in the second period I thought we did an excellent job doing that, and in the third period we played a really solid road game."